Africanized ‘Killer’ Bees, How Scary and Dangerous Are They?
Have you ever really experienced a bug bite? Those things can be painful. Now imagine if you get stung by a bee. That is one severely traumatic experience. Maybe that is the reason why bees are not most popular insects around.
One look at a beehive and a person cower in fear lest some straggler bee wanders out of the best and pierces them with the mean stinger. And yet, as dangerous as these different types of bees may be, they are actually quite essential to the well being of the ecosystem we live in and are dependent on for our survival.
If by any chance, bees were to get wiped out from the face of this earth, a lot of things would fall into misbalance, and the environment would suffer. Fortunately for us, bees are not going anywhere anytime soon. For such a small pest, bees are enormous in number and quite diverse as well. First of all, they are one of the few insects which are found all over the world and comes in a lot many different species too.
Different Types of Bees
Talking about the different types of bees, we have bumble bees with the standard yellow and black striped pattern and a fuzzy appearance. They build their nests with pollen and as for doing bumblebees sting; they will undoubtedly sting you if you disturb them. There are carpenter bees which are named so due to their affinity to living within wood by burrowing holes in it.
Damaging wooden properties is their favorite pastime, but as for the threat they pose, it is not much since the males don’t even have a stinger. Next, we have honeybees which come in both orangish brown or black color and are predominantly social, choosing to live in large colonies instead of leading a solitary life.
Finally, there are killer bees who you need to steer clear of, for the name itself if not for anything else. They will chase a prey for as much as a quarter of a mile if you happen to get on their wrong side.
Killer Bees: What Makes Them Unique
Africanized bees have bodies that are covered in fuzz with an abdomen that is ringed with black stripes. Talking of killer bees, they’re native to South America, and parts of the United States such as the western and southern regions. Although they have the name ‘killer’ bees, they can’t really kill as their venom is not poisonous, although it might pain. They prefer to stay in large groups, and even attack that way, making it tougher for the victim to escape.
Also, they tend to sting their victims only once, because usually, they end up losing their stinger upon attacking once. This is because, similar to some other forms of bees, killer bees’ stingers are weakly attached and tear off upon impact.
The Origin of Killer Bees
The story of the killer bees is similar to the ones in the science fiction movies. In 1950, Brazilian scientist Warwick Kerr wanted to cross-breed the African bee with a European honeybee. He sought to combine the African honeybee’s productive breeding with the European honeybee’s production of honey. These hybrid bees turned out to surpass the productivity of non-hybrid bees. But some of the bees accidentally released into the wilderness.
These Africanized bees then began to spread and made their way into the US in 1985, in Texas, and now have been reported as far afield as San Francisco, Northern California. The hybrid bees have gained a reputation for having huge size and lethal venom. The fact is these bees are smaller than regular honeybees, and because of their smaller size, their venom is also less powerful.
However, they got their name as ‘killer bees’ because of their aggressiveness when defending their hives. Experts say that killer bees respond to colony disturbance more quickly, in a large group, and more stinging. At least, several hundred people have died over the last 50 years due to their sting.
As aggressive as they may be, killer bees are incredibly essential for the ecosystem we live in. First of all, without these bees to help, our crops would never achieve pollination as much as they ought to. This would definitely bring down the yield of crops.
Also, with their ability to control harmful pests, without these bees, our houses and crops would be in grave danger of being attacked by ruthless pests and facing massive damages. Without killer bees to drive them away, we are terribly exposed to such dangers.
Having said that, too much of closeness with such bees are again extremely dangerous, which is why in order to deal efficiently with bee infestations near your area, we suggest you to call Queens County Pest Control. We deliver long-lasting solutions that are designed taking into account your convenience and the safety of your families.***